Can Castroism survive a friendly America?

“WHAT is going to happen to us without barbarians? They were for us a kind of solution.”

So ends Constantin Cavafy’s poem, Waiting for the Barbarians. These lines came back to me as President Barack Obama spoke on Tuesday in Havana’s Grand Theatre. “I have come here to extend the hand of friendship to the Cuban people.”

What happens to the revolution, I wondered, without an immense and ever-looming external enemy to give meaning to the diet of rice and beans and take home pay of $20 a month on which most Cubans must subsist.

Source: LETTER FROM WASHINGTON: ‘Barbarians’ help state keep populace in check | Columnists | BDlive


Quo vadis, GOP?

The Trump voter is a ready customer for what New York Times columnist David Brooks has called “the pornography of pessimism”. He loves it that Trump gives him permission to be “politically incorrect”, to dismiss the powers in Washington as “idiots” and “babies”, and to believe US President Barack Obama is really a Muslim born in Kenya. Trump may have been forced to disavow David Duke and the Ku Klux Klan, but this voter has heard the silent dog whistle and sees the disavowal for what it is. In his eyes, the barrage of media criticism and attack ads only strengthen Trump.

So, where to for the Republicans now that a constituency essential to their electoral arithmetic but alien to their sense of political hygiene has anointed a latter-day Caesar as their standard bearer?

Source: LETTER FROM WASHINGTON: Trump’s victories put Republicans in a pickle | Columnists | BDlive